March Madness: Women’s Basketball Update


Shakera Barnes

The St. Edward’s University women’s basketball team finished their season in the opening round of the Div. II NCAA Tournament on March 10 with a 79-60 loss to Angelo State University.

“I thought we did a great job in the second half, not letting the scoreboard define our effort,” Head Coach J.J. Riehl said to SEU Athletics. “I was pleased with our effort and how we fought the second half, but Angelo State was certainly better than us today.”

While compiling a historic 20-9 record, the Hilltoppers managed to claim the Heartland Conference regular-season and conference championship titles. In the final game of the season, senior point guard Shakera Barnes was the game’s leading scorer with 28 points.

Over her two-year tenure in a Hilltopper jersey, Barnes broke the program record for career assists per game with 5.1. Her performance helped the team reach 20 wins — the most in a single season under Head Coach J.J. Riehl.

Tuesday the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced their selection of All-America and Honorable Mentions, as Barnes was named an Honorable Mention.

As for the crosstown squad, the No. 3 University of Texas women’s basketball team will compete in its third-straight Sweet 16 round in the Div. 1 NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns narrowly defeated No. 6 NC State University 84-80 on March 19 in Austin.

“Our group never gave in,” UT Head Coach Karen Ashton said in a post-game press conference. “They showed a lot of resilience and toughness, and I’m really proud. It was a complete team effort.”

Now UT will face No. 2 Stanford on Friday. The last time these teams met on Nov. 14, Stanford won 71-59.

No. 5 Texas A&M University finished their season with a 70-33 blowout loss in the Round of 32 against No. 4 UCLA on Monday. 

In front of the Waco homecrowd, No. 1 Baylor University took a commanding 86-46 win against No. 9 University of California on Monday, and have advanced to the Sweet Sweet 16 round for the ninth-straight season. 

Now the Bears will play No. 4 University of Louisville in Oklahoma on Friday. 

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs in Oklahoma City. We’ve celebrated with confetti and I’ve cried in the locker room,” Baylor senior Nina Davis said to media. “But this is a new year, and me, [Alexis] Prince and the other two seniors are trying to carry us to the Final Four…” 

The No. 1 team in the country, the University of Connecticut women’s team won by 61 points in the opening round. UConn defeated No. 16 University at Albany 116-55 on March 18.

On Monday against No. 8 Syracuse University, Huskie junior Kia Nurse broke an NCAA Tournament record for 3-pointers in a game. Per Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register, the record for most 3-pointers is eight, and Nurse shot eight three-pointers in the first half alone.

UConn garnered its 109th consecutive win by defeating Syracuse 94-64, and is advancing to the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

The Final Four matchups and NCAA women’s basketball championship will take place later in the month in Dallas, Texas.